Paul Ramsay Foundation funding to tackle disadvantage

Burnet Institute

28 November, 2019

Image: Burnet Program Manager, Amy Kirwan, and Head of Public Health, Professor Mark Stoové

Burnet Institute research into recidivism will benefit from funding from the Paul Ramsay Foundation as part of a unique program to help tackle the cycle of disadvantage in Australia.

The funds have been made available through the Foundation’s Peer-to-Peer program – a devolved form of philanthropy that involves peer organisations in decision-making – run in partnership with Philanthropy Australia.

Representatives from ten innovative Australian not-for-profits (NFPs) were brought together to use problem-solving methodology to help break the cycle of disadvantage.

Based on peer review, Burnet was among five NFPs awarded $150,000 each with further capability support to be provided over the next year to develop the remaining initiatives.

The Burnet project seeks to address the issue of recidivism and work with key sector stakeholders including people with lived experience to design programs that address the root causes of re-offending.

Burnet Program Manager (Behaviours and Health Risks) Amy Kirwan said the exercise had been challenging and stimulating.

“What’s interesting about this peer process has been conversations that usually happen behind closed doors have been open and inclusive,” Ms Kirwan said.

“We’ve been participating in conversations about us, and driving conversations about other people with them present, which has been quite a unique experience and provided an opportunity to collaborate in what’s really a competitive space.”

In total, almost AUD$1 million has been allocated by the Paul Ramsay Foundation to support organisations taking on new and exciting projects in their early stages of development.

The CEO of the Paul Ramsay Foundation, Professor Glyn Davis AC, said this new approach is just one of the ways in which the Foundation will help break the cycle of disadvantage.

“The Foundation is committed to working with grassroots organisations large and small to help break the cycle of disadvantage in Australian communities,” Professor Davis said.

“We are in the early stages of a new focus on supporting under-resourced communities in the most effective way possible.”

The other organisations awarded Peer-To-Peer funding are:

  • Hands Up Mallee – which is working in Northern Mallee, Victoria to bring local leaders and services together to improve health and education outcomes for young families in the area.

  • Good Cycles – a social enterprise that provides employment to young people in Liverpool, NSW at risk of entrenched unemployment and contact with the criminal justice system.

  • The Benevolent Society – to co-design and implement a program to provide parenting support to vulnerable young parents who have been in out-of-home care.

  • The Fitzroy Legal Service and University of Melbourne – to create a new model for supporting the decision-making of people with disability to improve their participation in the justice system and achieve greater control and agency in their lives.

Find out more about Burnet’s projects in Behaviours and Health Risks.

Staff Members


Health Issue

Contact Details

For more information in relation to this news article, please contact:

Amy Kirwan

Senior Research Fellow, Social Impact and Innovation




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